U.S. trade deficit hits record high
The U.S. trade deficit jumped nearly 19 percent in December to a 10-year high of $621 billion. The gap between what the United States sells and what it buys from other countries rose to nearly $60 billion at the end of 2018. Adjusted for inflation, that’s the highest imbalance on trade goods in U.S. history. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China didn’t do anything to close the trade gap. But White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said a deal for more equitable market exchanges with China could come soon. “Right now we are optimistic, and this is probably closer than we’ve ever been before,” Kudlow told Fox News on Tuesday.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators resumed trade talks last month. Kudlow said they made significant progress on several sticking points, including intellectual property theft and company ownership issues. But it’s not clear whether Chinese President Xi Jinping will back the final deal.
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